71-year-old woman punched in face over traffic incident



BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Police are looking for a man who punched a 71-year-old woman in the face after a traffic incident in Bellingham last Wednesday.


Carole Hoerauf said the force of the man's fist pushed her glasses into her forehead, leaving her bruised.  She said it could have been worse.


"He could certainly have blinded me.  He did not," she told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News North Sound reporter Lee Stoll.


Hoerauf said she had just left choir practice at her church and was driving to Broadway and Holly.  She stopped at a red light and waited for it to turn green before turning left. She didn't see a man who was either in the crosswalk or on the curb -- until he started yelling at her.


"I put the window down, and he came round, and I started to apologize, and he didn't like it (the apology)," she said.


Hoerauf said the man, who is in his 20s, reached through the open window and sucker-punched her. He walked off, and she drove home.


Church friends later saw her face and convinced her to call police, who convinced her to see a doctor.


"This crime is currently being looked at as a misdemeanor assault. Depending the results of a medical examination, that could easily be bumped up to a felony," said Mark Young of the Bellingham Police Department.


Hoerauf said she wants her attacker to know that she forgives him.


The case was assigned to a detective Tuesday.


Police are looking for security camera footage that may show where the suspect came from, and they're hoping anyone with information with give them a call.